The Spy Who Loathed Me


In a rather interesting move by Research in Motion they have released software which will undo all the bad things done to Blackberry users in the United Arab Emirates by the domestic carrier Etisalat. The intrigue continues.

Programming 101

In a stroke of corporate genius, Etistalat installed their own client software (alarm bells ringing in my head) in more that 100,000 Blackberry devices to avoid “issues” in 2G to 3G hand offs. The whole thing came to a grinding halt when the Etisalat designed “patch” used only one registration server - and many mobile users did so at the same time causing their mobiles to constantly retry. This ultimately caused rapid battery rundown.

Who ya gonna call?

Seems that some folks in the know identified the update as spyware that could possibly monitor both email and SMS messages. Remnants in the source code may indicate that the spyware could have been designed by (or using tools from) a US company, SS8, whom we wrote about before. SS8 is not talking.

RIM also disclaimed any participation;

“RIM did not develop this software application and RIM was not involved in any way in the testing, promotion or distribution of this software application,” it said. “Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry hand-held, but rather to send received messages back to a central server.”

All the news you can possibly shovel

You can read about the entire flyblown tale here.

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